Women-led community networks in Costa Rica transmit Indigenous identity to next generations

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“Women from other Cabécar territories have learned about the work done in Kjalabata around the community network composed of Kakabalo and Okamasuei and consider it crucial to scale up what has been done there to have a greater impact of their worldview, their language, their territory,” Camacho says.

According to the WACC partner, the project is helping the Association of Cabécar Women understand how the internet works and its impact on their community so they can better determine how it should be introduced in Indigenous territories and what role Cabécar women play in this process.

Using technology to strengthen women’s leadership

The Cabécar women want to establish technological and communication tools, strategies, and infrastructure that they design themselves and that serve and strengthen their capacity for resistance and empowerment, Camacho notes.

While the first aim has been vital, the second is an equally important achievement, according to Camacho, who reported on the women-led communication initiatives at the Internet Governance Forum last October.

“The women’s leadership has been built from deep reflection on the impact that a totally external technology could have on the community. [And] also reflection about all the actions of resistance to put into practice and allow what we want, while not allowing what we don’t want,” she explained at the Forum.

Graphic for UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 with dark blue background and in white the number 16, the words "peace, justice and strong institutions" and a dove holding an olive branch and sitting on a gavel“We [Sulá Batsú] have gone from thinking that this is a technological project to a shift towards strengthening women’s organization and leadership with the use of technology, but not only with that.”

The project is co-funded by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).